Neurology News

Scientists Discover a Gene for Brain Size

March 4, 2015

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Scientists Identify a Gene for Human Brain Size

A team of researchers has identified for the first time a gene (ARHGAP11B) that is only present in humans and contributes to the reproduction of basal brain stem cells, triggering a folding of the neocortex. About 99 percent of human genes are shared with chimpanzees. Only the small remainder sets us apart. However, we have […]

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Possible Signs of Progress in the Fight Against Parkinson’s

March 4, 2015

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Signs of Progress Against Parkinson’s

By using induced pluripotent stem cells, researchers have markedly reduced the symptoms Parkinson’s disease in primates. Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at University-affiliated McLean Hospital have taken what they describe as an important step toward using the implantation of stem cell-generated neurons as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Ole Isacson and colleagues reported that […]

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Yale Neurobiologists Discover Surprising Trigger of New Brain Cell Growth

February 19, 2015

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Researchers Find Trigger of New Brain Cell Growth

A newly published study from Yale University shows that adult hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs) express vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) 3 and its ligand VEGF-C, which activates quiescent NSCs to enter the cell cycle and generate progenitor cells. Scientists have discovered that the human brain can produce new neurons, but exactly how those […]

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Marijuana Munchies: How the Appetite Center of the Brain Responds to Marijuana

February 18, 2015

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Marijuana Munchies How the Brain Flips the Hunger Switch

A new study from Yale University observes how the appetite center of the brain responds to marijuana, revealing what drives the hunger brought about by cannabis and how that same mechanism that normally turns off feeding becomes a driver of eating. The “munchies,” or that uncontrollable urge to eat after using marijuana, appear to be […]

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Nano-Antioxidants Quickly Neutralize Superoxides

February 12, 2015

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Study Shows How Particles Quench Damaging Superoxides

A new Rice-led study reveals how nanoparticles can quickly neutralize superoxides that are overexpressed by the body’s cells in response to an injury. Injectable nanoparticles that could protect an injured person from further damage due to oxidative stress have proven to be astoundingly effective in tests to study their mechanism. Scientists at Rice University, Baylor […]

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Key Process in Brain Development Identified

February 6, 2015

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Yale Identifies Key Process in Brain Development

By studying miR-107 in zebrafish, Yale researchers have discovered that miR-107 plays a key role in early brain development, and perhaps in the development of brain-related disease. MicroRNA are the tiny non-coding RNA molecules that help determine whether genes are expressed or silenced. One particular microRNA — miR-107 — plays a key role in early […]

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New Research Shows Seizures Knock Out Brain Arousal Centers

February 5, 2015

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Seizures Knock Out Brain Arousal Centers

Researchers from Yale University found that during seizures the arousal centers in the brain stem are actually suppressed, leading to a loss of consciousness. People with epilepsy who experience focal seizures sometimes remain mobile but are unable to hear or respond to their environment. Yale School of Medicine researchers have discovered a surprising explanation for […]

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Brain Scans Help Reveal How the Brain Ignores Distractions

February 4, 2015

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How the Brain Ignores Distractions

By scanning the brains of people engaged in selective attention to sensations, researchers from Brown University have learned how the brain appears to coordinate the response needed to ignore distractions. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — When we concentrate on something, we also engage in the unsung, parallel act of purposefully ignoring other things. A […]

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Yale Research Shows Immune Cells Are an Ally, Not Enemy, in Battle Against Alzheimer’s

January 29, 2015

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Study Shows Immune Cells Are An Ally Against Alzheimer’s

New research in battle against Alzheimer’s shows that brain immune cells (called microglia) seem to protect the brain by keeping amyloid plaques corralled, and are not re responsible for inflammation and damage to surrounding brain cells as previously thought. Beta-amyloid is a sticky protein that aggregates and forms small plaques in the brains of the […]

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Duke Study Provides Close-Up of Synapse Refinement

January 12, 2015

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Study Pinpoints Autism-Linked Protein for Sculpting Brain Connections

A new study from Duke University provides a close-up of synapse refinement and identifies that the protein hevin is crucial in this process. Durham, North Carolina – Shortly after birth, human brains expand rapidly with the experience of an entirely new world. During this period, neurons in the newborn brain compete with one another to […]

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Onset of Schizophrenia Linked to Elevated Neural Links

January 7, 2015

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Schizophrenia Onset Linked to Elevated Neural Links

New research from Yale scientists, in conjunction with colleagues at the Huaxi Magnetic Resonance Research Center at Sichuan University in China, reveals that that the onset of the schizophrenia is marked by an abnormal spike in neural connections. In its chronic stage, schizophrenia is typically marked by a dearth of links between brain cells in […]

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New Research Identifies Enzyme Crucial to the Shaping and Division of Brain Cells

January 5, 2015

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Study Identifies Enzyme Crucial to the Shaping and Division of Brain Cells

A newly published study identifies a “cutting” enzyme crucial to the shaping and division of brain cells as well as the replenishment of neural stem cells. The study, appearing online December 17 in the journal Neuron, helps explain the molecular basis of complex brain abnormalities, including small brain size (microcephaly) observed in children who were […]

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Neuroscientists Reveal Fundamental Discovery about Cortical Neurons

December 11, 2014

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Neuroscientists Reveal Fundamental Discovery about Cortical Neurons

Neuroscientists from the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory uncover a fundamental discovery about cortical neurons, showing that inhibitory neuron functionality is not an immutable property of cortical cells, but a consequence of more complex network dynamics. The two major types of neuron in the brain’s cerebral cortex are connected by intricate cortical circuits that […]

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Brain’s Response to Smoking is Different in Men and Women

December 10, 2014

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Men and Women Respond Differently to Cigarettes

New research from Yale University shows that men and women respond to cigarettes differently, demonstrating for the first time that smoking-induced dopamine activation occurs in a different brain region and much faster in nicotine-dependent men than women. Yale researchers using a new brain imaging analysis method have confirmed that smoking cigarettes activates a dopamine-driven pleasure […]

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Proper Copper Levels Essential to Spontaneous Neural Activity

December 2, 2014

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Proper Copper Levels Essential to Spontaneous Neural Activity

A new study from the Berkeley Lab reveals that proper copper levels are essential to the health of a brain at rest and suggests that mismanagement of copper in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders can also contribute to misregulation of signaling in cell−to-cell communications. In recent years it has been established […]

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New Study Shows Brain stimulation Counteracts Dangerous Side Effect of Seizures

December 2, 2014

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Brain Stimulation Can Restore Consciousness after a Seizure

In a newly published study, neurologists from Yale University have reawakened rats after seizures by stimulating parts of the brain involved in conscious awareness. The research may lead to treatments for individuals with epilepsy. Loss of consciousness is a common and dangerous side effect of epileptic seizures. A study published this week in the journal […]

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White Matter Changes Allow Older People to Learn New Visual Tasks

November 21, 2014

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White Matter Changes Allow Older Brains to Learn

New research from Brown University shows that older people can learn a visual task just as well as younger ones, revealing that a significant change in the white matter of the brain takes place when the older subjects learn. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — A widely presumed problem of aging is that the brain […]

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